Nerve injuries, including neuralgia and neuropathy can present with a wide variety of symptoms in different parts of the body. The important aspect to investigate is why did these symptoms start? Typically symptoms occur from abnormal pressure or irritation to a nerve or group of nerves. For example, during an accident a nerve was overstretched in the neck from whiplash. This now sends tingling and numbness sensations to the outside arm and shoulder.

Peripheral nerve injuries can occur from accidents, constriction, surgical procedures, disease and repetitive actions. Common nerve injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash, brachial-plexus syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome and surgical procedures. Nerves take a significant amount of time to regenerate and grow back together, depending on the severity of the nerve injury.

Neuralgia refers to pain caused by nerves. There are a variety of different causes for this pain from abnormal pressure, disease and even medication toxicity. Neuralgia often refers to non-specific pain that can occur in the arms or legs. Symptoms can vary from tingling, numbness, to even burning or sharp pains.

Neuropathy refers to a disease state of nerves. This typically occurs in people who suffer from diabetes as this damages the nerves, especially in the feet. In addition, circulation issues can cause neuropathy to occur in the feet, legs or hands. Various factors, which contribute to poor circulation, can often be improved. This in turn improves the neuropathy to varying degrees. Neuropathy can be especially problematic as the lack of sensation in the feet, can lead to cuts or injuries without the person knowing. Since circulation is usually compromised, the chances for infection become high.

How therapy helps

Physical and occupational therapy are very good treatment options for people with nerve injuries, neuralgia and neuropathy. A thorough evaluation is done of nerve function including strength, sensation, coordination of movement, range of motion, dexterity and more. The body depends on feedback to heal properly and therefore, improving strength, range of motion, coordination and balance, nerves can heal better, muscles can function properly and pain can be reduced.

There are many different pain management strategies that our therapists can train you on and modalities that can help soothe symptoms quickly. In addition, any long-term adaptations to work, function and lifestyle can be done with bracing or assistive devices.